Manchester Metropolis are “aloof now no longer ready to fight for the latter phases” of the Champions League, said manager Pep Guardiola after his aspect staged a vivid tiresome comeback to beat Schalke within the predominant leg of their final-sixteen tie.
England forward Raheem Good scored the decisive goal within the final minute of usual time – latching on to goalkeeper Ederson’s prolonged kick and coolly slotting residence.
The Premier League champions came into the match as sturdy favourites and went in entrance on 18 minutes via Sergio Aguero.
However the sport swung in Schalke’s favour earlier than 1/2-time after a contentious VAR possibility and two Nabil Bentaleb penalties.
The first of Schalke’s situation-kicks came after the intervention of the VAR, who penalised Metropolis defender Nicolas Otamendi for handball when the ball struck his arm as he moved it gradual his wait on.
The 2d was given for a defective by Fernandinho on Salif Sane – the referee sticking alongside with his possibility after briefly consulting the VAR.
After being booked for the handball, Otamendi was proven a 2d yellow card for a defective on Guido Burgstaller within the 2d 1/2 – meaning he’ll sit down out the 2d leg, as will Fernandinho.
With Metropolis heading for a surprise defeat, manager Pep Guardiola sent on usual Schalke participant Leroy Sane – and the Germany global curled residence a free-kick from 30 yards out to level matters, earlier than Good struck the winner.
“It was a pleasurable consequence,” said Guardiola. “We gave them two penalties, we gave them a crimson card, and in this competition that is now no longer too wonderful. We’re aloof now no longer ready to fight for the latter phases, that is truth, nonetheless the consequence is wonderful.
“We played with unbelievable character. We gave two dreams as soon as they did completely nothing. It’s miles now no longer over, this competition is fully various.”
The 2d leg takes dispute in Manchester on Tuesday, 12 March.
Metropolis masks their unravel
Questions had been requested about Metropolis as soon as they lost 2-1 at Newcastle in tiresome January, nonetheless 5 successive victories later and discuss has turned as to whether or now no longer they’ll web an unheard of quadruple of trophies this season.
While Phil Foden believes they’ll “positively” web all four, fellow midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has instructed it would be “almost impossible” and Guardiola said it was “silly” to be requested the question in February.
Metropolis prime the Premier League on goal distinction – albeit having played a sport bigger than Liverpool – and can unbiased face Swansea within the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Their first probability of silverware is available within the market within the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea on Sunday, nonetheless four days earlier than that their Champions League hopes regarded to be slipping away.
Metropolis dominated the outlet 1/2 an hour – with 70% possession – and Aguero’s goal came via a present from goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann, whose pass supplied defender Sane short as David Silva nipped in and laid the ball off for his crew-mate to assemble.
But despite falling gradual and being diminished to 10 males, Guardiola’s aspect showed their togetherness and unravel by scoring twice tiresome on and can unbiased now be heavy favourites to progress to the final eight.
Famed for his or her gargantuan, enticing kind of play, Metropolis will web heart from vivid they’ll squeeze out victories in adversity, specifically in Europe’s elite membership competition.
Sane said: “It capability loads. I was a small bit unhappy for Schalke, for the reason that atmosphere was unbelievable uncover it irresistible continuously is. Schalke did in actuality properly, the capability they defended made it refined.
“At the head we did it, we scored three dreams away – that was a truly noteworthy express. That that it is possible you’ll well watch the need is loads, we never quit, we continuously want to withhold combating.”
‘I don’t know what is handball and what will not be’ – more VAR confusion
The hosts trailed 1-zero when cruise-wait on Daniel Caligiuri decrease in from the exact and struck a shot goalwards, which hit Otamendi on the arm.
It gave the impact as although the Argentine was making an try to tuck his arm gradual his wait on, and Spanish referee Carlos del Cerro Grande within the origin awarded a corner. But after consultation with VAR Alejandro Hernandez – a discussion which took almost three minutes – he pointed to the penalty situation, and usual Tottenham midfielder Bentaleb reworked.
It later emerged the pitchside visual show unit ancient to examine choices was broken, so the referee can also now no longer notion a replay of the incident.
Outmoded Metropolis defender Danny Mills said on BBC Radio 5 reside: “I don’t know what is handball and what will not be to any extent further. Otamendi is making an try to obtain his arm out of the capability, it is in a natural dispute, nonetheless it completely stops the ball hitting the goal.”
Ex-Metropolis midfielder Michael Brown added: “It was presumably the longest VAR in history deciding the exact possibility. I don’t think they knew after which within the extinguish they gave the penalty.”
The 2d penalty possibility was less complicated for the referee as he penalised Fernandinho for holding – and Bentaleb scored yet again.
Schalke head coach Domenico Tedesco said: “We’re clearly very disenchanted by the consequence. We deserved more.
“For one of many few instances this season we had a small little bit of good fortune on our aspect. We knew we would be pushed deep, nonetheless we had been sloppy too in overall on the counter and conceding the dreams we did tiresome on was heartbreaking.”
Gorgeous Sane – the stats
- Good’s goal was Manchester Metropolis’s first Ninetieth-minute winner within the Champions League since Kevin de Bruyne’s against Sevilla in October 2015.
- Metropolis are unbeaten of their past eight Champions League video games against German opponents (W7 D1), since a 1-zero defeat by Bayern Munich in September 2014.
- Defeat ended Schalke’s 9-sport unbeaten residence proceed in Europe (W6 D3), with their outdated defeat in February 2016 against Shakhtar Donetsk.
- Aguero has scored 10 dreams in his past seven appearances in all competitions, and is the head goalscorer within the head 5 European leagues in 2019 (eleven).
- Since the starting up of ultimate season, most tremendous Cristiano Ronaldo (8) has scored more away dreams within the Champions League than Aguero (7).
- Sane has been immediately enthusiastic about eight dreams in his past seven appearances for Metropolis (three dreams, 5 assists).
- Bentaleb has reworked every of his 14 penalties for Schalke.
- Otamendi was proven his first crimson card for Metropolis in his 161st appearance for the membership.